Podcast and Podsafe Music

If you create your own podcasts then you will certainly need great music to accompany your fabulous new show.
There’s actually a great choice of music available on the Internet for podcasters but there’s two vital things to watch out for: is it legal? and is it good quality?

To be sure that your podcast music is “podsafe” or legal, you really need to buy music from a royalty free music library or independent musician who specifically gives you the rights to use his or her music.
The SMARTassMusic standard license gives you the right to use our music as much as you like in your podcasts and many other projects too!
And did I mention….there’s free tracks too and yes, you’re welcome to use these in your podcasts absolutely free.

The other important point is that of quality. Our music is crystal clear audio quality and available for instant download as both WAV and high quality MP3 files (192kbps).
You shouldn’t sacrifice quality for bandwidth when producing your podcasts and any audio compression less than 128kbps containing music, is going to be noticably poor.
Good luck with your podcasting!

Posted in: General, Podcasting

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Great Jazz Night Out

I had a great night out on Wednesday with a Jazz gig at The Woodman, in Sevenoaks, Kent. They put on regular evenings of Jazz with top name players and on this occasion we had the great Roger Beaujolais on vibes (a much neglected, wonderful instrument),  Jo Fooks on sax, Bobby Worth on drums, Pete Ringrose on bass and myself (Jim Treweek) on piano. A personal thanks to everybody involved in setting up these gigs, including the audience who  really support the venue and the musicians.

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Royalty Free Music Collection-Dark Underscores

 Tv and Film composer Alex Khaskin has produced a set of royalty free underscores for our library.
These tracks are available to license and download seperately but we’ve compiled 10 of these underscores into a “Dark Underscore” collection.
This collection is perfect for media producers, saving well over 50% by purchasing the track package as opposed to the individual tracks.
The collection contains a variety of dark background music tracks with a similar production style so that you can use them throught a single program or film or use them individually as many times as you like.

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More-Royalty Free Christmas Music!

As the Holiday season rapidly approaches we’ve added some more production music tracks to our royalty free library.
Here at SMARTassMusic this is our very first Christmas!

From experienced TV production music composers Liz Radford/Gavin Courtie we have the superb, fun “Have a Merry, Merry Christmas“. This is a wonderful vocal arrangement available in various edit lengths.

Another favorite of mine is “Ding Dong Merrily on High“-a great rock version of this Christmas/Holiday classic and  “Rock the Halls (Deck the Halls)

We’ve also put together  Christmas/Holiday production music tracks into a “Christmas Handbells Vol 1”

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Jazz Harmony Tutorial

 Today I’ve posted a more advanced tutorial on harmony and in particular the harmonic extensions and voicings used in Jazz.
The “pretty notes” as Charlie Parker called them, are the higher notes of the chords (9th,11th,13th) which are vital to contemporary Jazz but also familiar to classical musicians from the works of Debussy and Ravel.

download jazz harmony pdf

It’s important to be able to instantly recognize these larger intervals in every key as well as to utilize them properly by means of good “voicing”.
To Jazz and commercial musicians “voicing” is the way that one places the notes of the chord across the keyboard (or among the instruments if arranging) and really, is of more importance than the simple choice of notes in the chord.

Posted in: Music, Piano Technique, Tutorials

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Basic Harmony PDF download

Learning harmony can be daunting for many musicians but I believe that if you understand harmony well it simplifies most musical styles so that you can gain a greater understanding.
It’s also invaluable for Jazz or commercial musicians.

You can download the PDF introduction to Jazz hamony below. Understanding this single sheet is probably more important than any of the more advanced lessons that you may come accross. It’s easy to skim over this thinking that you know it, but beware, you must understand it!

download “Basic Harmony” PDF

This sheet deals with the naturally occuring diatonic (major scale) chords (3 note chords) as well as the 5 qualities of chords that we encounter in Jazz playing (based on 4 note chords).

Thinking in numerals (or Roman numerals as here) is important because you can change key easily with refernce to only a single chord sequence (II-V-1 as opposed to Dm7-G7-Cmaj7)

Posted in: Music, Piano Technique, Tutorials

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Piano Scales PDF Download

piano scales download
I’d like to start a series of piano/jazz/harmony/arranging tutorials so I thought it would be best to start off with the basics.
You can printout the PDF below which is all major scale for practise at the piano. Here I’ve organised them in groups of fingering rather than keys. There are 3 groups and it’s easier to learn a particular finger pattern and apply it to the group rather than learn each scale separately.

Download piano major scales pdf

Posted in: Music, Piano Technique, Tutorials

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Royalty Free Kids/ Comedy Music

We’ve added some more great music from our new production music composer Alex Khaskin.
The tracks are all kids or comedy style tracks which have been very cleverly composed for use with video. We’ve compiled a collection of 10 kids tracks to our “Packages” menu. Remember, with these packages, you only require a single additional license (if required) rather than a license for each track.

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New Orchestral Music

New Royalty Free Orchestral Music
We’ve just added lots of new beautiful orchestral tracks thanks to a new composer at SMARTassMusic. We’d like to welcome Alex Khaskin aboard.

Alex Khaskin is an experienced conductor and  composer for film and TV. He now lives and works in Canada although he grew up in Russia, where he studied piano, conducting and composition, gaining a Masters degree (with distinction) as well as winning the St Petersburg Young Composers festival prize and graduating with the highest marks in his class.

New Music:
Alex’s music is perfect, romantic, atmospheric and sometimes dark orchestral background music, written perfectly to enhance the on screen emotion.
Listen to the beautiful “We’ll Meet Again” with an excellent use of percussion and the wonderfully simple and emotive “Last Goodbye” . “Journey of a Lifetime” is a very beautiful, strong theme using piano with percussion and superb subtle string scoring. “Those Were the Days” is another favourite of mine using percussion effectively with orchestral writing.

I’ve really enjoyed listening to this music as I’ve been adding it to the site. The quality of musicianship is superb, combined with fine taste and simplicity.

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New Production Music Tracks

New Tracks

Over the past two weeks we’ve been working hard and added loads of new tracks to the music library. When I look back on what we’ve added, even I’m surprised by the amount of different styles and the fact the some of these are my favourite tracks too.

Rock Music
We have 19 new royalty free music tracks. Many of these are additions by our excellent production music composer Dan Morrissey. He’s become our heavy rock specialist and you can sample he’s great work (and buy it) with tracks like:
Elephant Gun” – really heavy, distorted guitar track with far too much attitude and “Genghis“-a driving guitar led piece with subtle oriental overtones and great guitar licks. “Cloudburst” has a mixture of beautiful guitar and synth sections interspersed with heavy, driving rock guitar.

Dance Music
A couple of my surprise favourites are the heavy Dum and Bass (DnB) track “Large Hadron Collider”, which is so energetic, edgy and in your face, it’s ridiculous. Another is a venture into more authentic Dance music with the Trance number “Altered States“. I really had fun doing these and there’ll be more to come.

World Music
We’ve added a number of  world music tracks including the Scottish/ Celtic “BealTaine” using authentic celtic instruments and the Spanish Flamenco “Flamenco Nights”. This has authentic flamenco guitars and percussion and has a real smoulding Spanish flavour to it.
One of my favourites is the Indian track “Indus River” and the remix we did of this traditional Indian composition.

We’re adding content as often as we can so check the “New Tracks” menu for any new stuff. We’re also making more inmprovemnts to the site which we’ll keep you posted about.

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